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Where to go with the photos?
Old 11-26-2008, 02:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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As a photographer interested in getting into glamour/beauty etc. what options do I have once I have a decent portfolio? Does it come down to finding an agency? Shooting for magazines?
I know what I want to shoot, but the next question is what to with it. Just looking for some ideas from those in the industry or who shoot full time either in studio or on location.

Thanks,
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Re: Where to go with the photos?
Old 11-26-2008, 03:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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there is no commercial market for glamour photos.

none.

zero.

anyone who tells you otherwise, ask them to show you their W-2 or W-4 statements.

the only market for glamour pics is to shoot hard core porn for video companies or to shoot escorts and exotic dancers for their hand-out pics for their performances and advertising.

if you want to make a living in commercial photography, you picked the worst time in the last 50-100 years. The shooters who are making money are shooting weddings, senior portraits and family stuff, have a great marketing program, great work and a strong repeat customer base.

aside from that the only shooters doing well are a very select few celebrity shooters doing big name jobs. even their work is way down. if you want to have any chance at making anything in commercial photography, learn how to shoot business men and lifestyle images and other advertising related work. but even that (my bread and butter) has slowed wayyyyyy down in the last 3 months.

in summary, if anyone tells you how much great money they are making shooting glamour, call them out and ask to see their income statements. then you decide if their " great" money is your idea of great money.
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Re: Where to go with the photos?
Old 11-26-2008, 04:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm starting to branch out into weddings and portraits...costumes specifically. I have a strong potential market taken from other hobby which is historical reenactments so I'm hoping to capitalize on that, but with this recession I can understand that the market is down in general. Corporate headshots are pretty always required since quarterly reports and the like will happen no matter what. As for the glamour and beauty stuff with the latest trend of print magazines going digital I'm sure that side of that market is rapidly decreasing as well. It is becoming more and more crucial to find a niche and exploit it...the challenge is the what and how.

Thanks for the comment.
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Re: Where to go with the photos?
Old 11-26-2008, 04:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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you got it, find the niche and find a niche where there is money to spend. sadly, more images are being used right now than ever before in history, yet the advent of cheap stock photography and more and more shooters with digital cameras have lowered the "price" of admission to the pro shooter ranks. so, more images available, more people offering them for sale, they sell for less.

who gets the shaft? the person who does it for a living.
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Re: Where to go with the photos?
Old 11-26-2008, 05:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have a niche, I think I have a niche, blast, someone scratched it and it became theirs...I learned the hard way. Gave a friend a chance to do what I had been doing and he took it over. Oh well, no sense crying over spilt dancers....it is amazing though how many believe because they take their clothes off for a shoot, a shoot for them, that it is free. But hey, I am guilty cause I let it happen...

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Re: Where to go with the photos?
Old 11-26-2008, 08:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Glenn,

Just a lurker here, but I found your commentary on the lack of a market for glamour interesting.

Can you clarify, do you mean there is no market in which to sell glamour photo's, or that there are no customers interested in paying to have glamour photo's taken...or both?
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Re: Where to go with the photos?
Old 11-26-2008, 09:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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there is no market to sell existing glamour photos unless they are hard core or well known models. there are no assignments being given to unknown photographers from glamour magazines. i'm strictly talking about the commercial assignments, the "making a living" stuff.

there will always be a market for customers interested in having their pic taken in glamour style, but I can't see how you could make a living doing this unless you had 3-4 people per day, 5-6 days a week.

everyone (including me a few short years ago) thinks it would be awesome to be the next great glamour shooter.

the problem is that the supply far exceeds the demand, and as the publishing business shrinks drastically, there is no place to move the pics or get assignments.

there are an amazingly few full-time glamour shooters in the US. I doubt there are more than 50 in the whole country making a decent living shooting glamour girls. If anyone thinks their odds are in their favor to join maybe 50 shooters out of a million people who want that work...go for it.
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Re: Where to go with the photos?
Old 11-30-2008, 09:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It's "The Day the Earth Stood Still" for the vast majority of shooters. I don't care if you're a commercial shooter, a photojournalist, a fashion, beauty, or glamour snapper, even most wedding and family & event photographers. The party's over. Paparazzi might be the only group left where someone can wield a camera and make a living. (But I could be wrong as I don't know much about the economics of that group.)

I shoot lots of glamour but I only get to do that because I'm also shooting lots of hardcore for the same companies who hire me. (e.g., Vivid, Hustler, Playboy, Tera Patrick's company, TeraVision, and more.) My income has taken a nose dive in the last year or so. Where once I was working regularly and making pretty good dough, i.e., "making a living," I'm now seeing less than half the work I had just a year ago and way less than half when I think about how much work I had 2 or 3 years ago. There was a time I made stupid money shooting pretty naked girls. Like I said. The party's over.

When it comes to glamour, it's not so much the economy that has mortally wounded the golden goose, it's been technology and the swelling ranks of people willing to give their work away for free or near free. I guess that also holds true for other genres of photography as well. Need photos for your wedding? No problem. Your Uncle Ernie just bought a new digital SLR and he's now a photographer and, best of all, he'll shoot your wedding gratis as a wedding gift. Magazines go to micro-stock sites and buy images for next to nothing. Worse, they go to Flickr and D/L images for free. Often, with the blessing of the shooter! Why? The shooter's ego, of course. "Hey! I got a tear in the XYZ rag!!!" (Whoop-dee-freakin-doo.)
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Re: Where to go with the photos?
Old 11-30-2008, 09:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Looks like Glenn, and Jimmy, have validated my recent frustrations. Everyone seems to line up at your door if you're giving it away for free,but ask for a lil compensation to even cover your investment. and they scatter like Mexicans at an immigration raid.
Here I was just thinking my photography must be really bad!!
Thank goodness I have a day job that helps pay for the expenses so that I can help models with unrealistic dreams make their way to more and more disappoints!!
Now back to figuring out how to make this fun again, since there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!
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Re: Where to go with the photos?
Old 11-30-2008, 11:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robear0001 View Post
I have a niche, I think I have a niche, blast, someone scratched it and it became theirs...I learned the hard way. Gave a friend a chance to do what I had been doing and he took it over.

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Robear,

I've been bit by that bug more than once in many ways over the years. I remember the early days of "helping" others with similar "niches," well lets just say they became b-i-tches and I refuse to deal with them anymore, times are tough. I will say one thing, after every storm there is usually a rainbow, problem is someone took my umbrella, thank goodness for that military training as it's only water that will eventually run under the bridge. Thanks for being part of the GG community and family, hang tough my friend, it can only get better, rg sends!
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